Welcome to Letters from the Edge of Elfland,

I’m David Russell Mosley and I have a PhD in theology from the University of Nottingham. My research focuses on deification, also known as theosis, and the role it plays, and should play in human life, particularly human creativity. My research interests include patristic and medieval theology, sacramentology, liturgy, poetry, fantasy (literature), Christology, Trinitarian theology, deification, economics and theology, ecology and theology, and other areas of Christian theology.

I am husband to Lauren Mosley (who blogs here) and am the father of twin boys. In my spare time, I like to read fiction and poetry, as well as write fiction and poetry; work in the garden; smoke pipes; drink good ale and whiskey; write hand-written letters; and read to my children.

I am also the author of the forthcoming books On the Edge of Elfland, a faërie romance which will be published by Wipf and Stock publishers some time next year; and Being Deified: Poetry and Fantasy on the Path to God which will be published by Fortress Press.

This blog is a collection of letters from me to you. In them, I’ll write to you about theology, about my research, about the importance of poetry, fiction, liturgy; I’ll even write about my life from time to time, or the books I’m currently reading. So sit down in a comfortable chair, and join me as we correspond sitting, as we always must, on the edge of Elfland.

Sincerely Yours,

14 comments on “About

  1. Charles Twombly says:

    David, thanks for the invitation to enter Elfland, if only on the edge. Best wishes on your Ph.D. work. I’m a historical theologian in the US, but my wife has family in Nottingham, including a niece who recently was an archivist at the Uni. What’s your field and your thesis topic?

    • Charles.

      Thanks for your comment! The edge, I’m afraid is the best I can guarantee, though I hope to show and see glimpses of it myself. It truly is a small world! My PhD is in Systematic Theology (ish), and I’m working on deification. A potential title for my thesis is ‘Being Deified: Theo-Poetry and Salvation and History’. However, my Master’s is actually in Historical Theology.

      • Charles Twombly says:

        Thanks, David. Glad to join in the search for glimpses. Glad to hear you’re in syst theol. Hear Karen Kilby (whom I’ll meet at a Fuller Seminary conference next week) is heading to Durham. W&S is soon to publish my old (’92) thesis on perichoresis in John of Damascus. Want to read your work someday. Perhaps mine might add something to your project.

  2. Hello David. While searching for some information on Goodchild I came across your blog (which I am excited to peruse). Coincidentally, I am starting PhD work in the UK this fall. I have already been accepted into Edinburgh’s program, but am actually still waiting to hear from Durham, Exeter, and Nottingham. My main work has been in Pauline ethics and contemporary political/economic theology (hence my interest in Goodchild). Perhaps I will see you over there, it is a rather small country!

    • Taylor,

      I hope you find the blog interesting. Truth be told, outside of what I found out when writing my post on Philip, I don’t know much about him or his work. From what I hear, though, he is an excellent scholar. Who are wanting to work with at Nottingham? Goodchild or Richard Bell?

      As to seeing to me, while it is a small country, I’ll be leaving it in the Fall. However, let me know if I can be of any assistance, particularly if you decide to come to Nottingham. Moving country, as I assume you’re doing, can be difficult.

  3. I am primarily wanting to work with Goodchild, and was even able to secure him as a supervisor if I were to be accepted. Not sure who there would be a good secondary supervisor. The only other person I am rather familiar with is Milbank. Not sure who there would be a good Pauline scholar!

    Ah. I had read on the blog that you were finishing up your PhD, but wasn’t sure if you would be in the country still (though, being here on a student visa, I suppose, would make it rather difficult to swing that). I certainly would love to pick your brain on moving from the US to the UK. I have been particularly wary on this point. I have gathered bits of information here and there; however, I still am a bit lost!

  4. I love your blog, so I’ve nominated you for the Liebster Award. Participation is purely voluntary. Details can be found here: http://michellejoelle.wordpress.com/2014/02/13/spreading-the-love/

  5. I know you’ve seen the post, but I thought I’d drop a note here anyway 🙂 I’ve invited you to participate in a blog hop focused on letting writers show off their process. I’d love to hear your answers the four questions you’ll find here: http://michellejoelle.wordpress.com/2014/05/26/a-writing-process-blog-hop/

  6. Elizabeth Hanson says:

    Hello David,

    Your awesome letters about A Vision of Angels and Lewis’ Cosmic Trilogy: Perelandra and the Cosmic Christ Event remind me of the Magnificat chanted in the Paracleisis (Supplicatory Canon) to the Theotokos.

    “Held in higher honor that the Cherubim,
    far surpassing in glory even the Seraphim;
    remaining inviolate thou gavest birth to the Logos.
    Truly the Theotokos, we magnify thee.”

    This Magnificat ends with

    “All of ye Angels in serried ranks,
    the Lord’s Forerunner and Apostles, ye chosen Twelve,
    all ye Saints most honored, join the Theotokos,
    in making intercession, that we may be saved.”

    Salvation is not only a grace, but also a miracle in itself!

    The Angelic realm does indeed exist, and those who are pure in heart like little children behold them because they have the spiritual eyes to see. Would that we all could become pure in heart through theosis. The grace is sufficient, but our faith is lacking, so we must pray with unwavering fervor, “O Lord, I believe, help Thou my unbelief.”

    Know that I am praying for your family, especially your two young boys. St. Nectarios of Aegina, intercede to Christ God that they may be granted health and salvation.

    Keep us posted.

    • Dear Elizabeth,

      Thank you so much for your kind words and your prayers. Mary is often on my mind as it is one of my sons who is ill. I also frequently pray that poor father’s prayer. We are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses and it is often through them that our Lord helps my unbelief. Thank you for being a part of that as well.


  7. Sounds like a fascinating and worthy area of research!

  8. It’s that time again – I know I’ve linked you in these sorts of awards before, but I just wanted to let you know I’ve listed you among my nominees for The Dragon’s Loyalty Award for excellence. I’m not sure what dragons have to do with anything, but I love dragons, so I figured I’d pass it along. You are under, of course, no obligation to participate, but I loved your series on Fairy God Mothers so much that I thought you deserved a dragon.

    You can check out the nomination here: http://storiesandsoliloquies.com/2015/02/11/the-dragons-loyalty-award/

  9. […] “one who is dedicated to life in Christ and the contemplation of the Holy Trinity.” {What Does It Mean To Be a Theologian; by David Russell Mosley} […]

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